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    1. Course Overview
    2. Course Organization
    3. Course Outline
    4. Suggested 8-Week Schedule


Benvenute e Benvenuti!

Italian Language and Culture: Beginner is an introductory course that teaches the four basic skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the context of major themes in Italian culture.

The course will stay open for 12 months from the starting date, as a self-paced course: this means that you can cover the material at your own speed within the time frame of 12 months, starting January 25th, 2016.
Although we estimate that, studying 3-4 hours per week, it will take you about 8 weeks to complete the course, you are under no obligation to finish within this time. Please see the suggested eight week schedule below for a sample on how to divide the material. 

You may decide to study towards a Verified Certificate of Completion ($49), or to learn for your personal enrichment and pleasure.

To receive a Verified Certificate of Completion you must obtain a final score of 60%. This is calculated as follows:

- Tests count 90% of your final score. You may drop 2 Tests.

- Esercizi  (self-graded exercises) count 10% of your final score. You may drop 4 Esercizi.

The material you will study in this class was successfully tested in an entirely online course offered in summer 2014 and summer 2015, taken by about 1,500 students, all of them either Wellesley College students, alumnae, or selected high school students.


The course consists of four Units. Each Unit is broken down in 6-7 lessons (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.)
Each lesson presents its content in multiple ways. These can be viewed and studied in any order you prefer.
Below is a quick overview of the various components of each unit.

Ciak! videos: original videos shot on our campus with native and near native speakers of Italian. Each Ciak! video is followed by two downloadable Podcasts. These will be ideal for your on-the-go practice.

Grammar charts: grammar explanations, examples, and charts are available for review with audio files of each example and verb conjugation within the course, and can be downloaded in PDF file format.

Slide Shows with animation: grammar explanations with images and animation.

Videos (Slide Shows with Narration)
: narrated grammar explanations.

Esercizi: online exercises with immediate feedback.

Vocaboli nuovi: new vocabulary lists are available as PDF files, slide show presentations, and videos with narration.

Discussione: creative writing prompts.

Lettura: readings delivered as PDF files, slide show presentations, and videos with narration.

Intervista: interview with a native speaker on a variety of cultural subjects.

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Below is an outline of the material we will cover this semester as it is presented on the edX platform.  



Unit 1

Le città italiane e la piazza

(Italian cities and the piazza)

1.1 Saluti e presentazioni
(Greetings and introductions)

1.1 Test

1.2 Nomi: genere, singolare e plurale
(Nouns: gender, singular and plural)

1.2 Test

1.3 Articoli indeterminativi e aggettivo “buono” 
(Indefinite articles and adjective “buono”)

1.3 Test

1.4 Verbo “essere”, c’è, ci sono, articoli determinativi e aggettivo "bello"
(Verb “to be”, there is, there are, definite articles and adjective “bello”)

1.4 Test

1.5 Verbo “avere” ed espressioni idiomatiche con avere
(Verb “to have” and idiomatic expressions with “to have”)

1.5 Test

1.6 LETTURA: Le città italiane e la piazza
(Reading: Italian cities and the piazza)

1.7 INTERVISTA con Lucia Toppino: La città di Alba
(Interview with Lucia Toppino: The town of Alba)

Unit 2

I giovani, la famiglia e l'università

(Young adults, the family and the university)

2.1 Aggettivi

2.1 Test

2.2 Aggettivi e pronomi possessivi
(Adjectives and possessive pronouns)

2.2 Test

2.3 Verbi in -are; domande, espressioni interrogative, alcuni avverbi
(Verbs ending in –are; question formation, interrogative expressions, some adverbs)

2.3 Test

2.4 Verbi irregolari in -are: andare, dare, fare, stare
(Irregular verbs ending in –are: to go, to give, to do/make, to be/stay)

2.4 Test

2.5 LETTURA: I giovani, la famiglia e l'università
(Reading: Young adults, family and the university)

2.6 INTERVISTA con Mattia Acetoso: L'università in Italia e negli USA
(Interview with Mattia Acetoso: The university in Italy and in the USA)

Unit 3

Attività, sport e vacanze

(Activities, sports and vacation)

3.1 Verbi in -ere, -ire
(Verbs ending in –ere, -ire)

3.1 Test

3.2 Verbi irregolari in –ere: dovere, potere, volere
(Irregular verbs ending in –ere: must / to have to, can / to be able to, to want)

3.2 Test

3.3 Verbi irregolari: dire, uscire, venire
(Irregular verbs: to say, to go out, to come)

3.3 Test

3.4 Conoscere e sapere, preposizioni articolate
(To know, to be acquainted with and to know how, prepositions with definite articles)

3.4 Test

3.5 LETTURA: Attività, sport e vacanze
(Reading: Activities, sports and vacation)

3.6 INTERVISTA con Emanuele Capoano: Le mie vacanze in Italia
(Interview with Emanuele Capoano: My vacation in Italy)

3.7 INTERVISTA con Isabella Perricone: Il cinema italiano
(Interview with Isabella Perricone: Italian cinema)

Unit 4

La cucina italiana

(Italian cuisine)

4.1 Passato prossimo con essere e avere
(Past simple with "to be" and "to have")

4.1 Test

4.2 Imperfetto e contrasto imperfetto / passato prossimo
(Imperfect and contrast imperfect and past simple)

4.2 Test

4.3 Trapassato prossimo

4.3 Test

4.4 Espressioni negative
(Negative expressions)

4.4 Test

4.5 LETTURA: Le abitudini alimentari in Italia
(Reading: Eating habits in Italy)

4.6 INTERVISTA con Angelo Guida: La mia passione per la cucina
(Interview with Angelo Guida: My passion for cooking)


Alfabeto, pronuncia, numeri, date, che ora è? che ore sono?

(Alphabet, pronunciation, numbers, dates, telling time)

A.1 Alfabeto e pronuncia
(Alphabet and pronunciation)

A.2 Numeri

A.3 Giorni della settimana, mesi, stagioni
(Days of the week, months, seasons)

A.4 Che ora è? Che ore sono?
(Telling time)

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Suggested 8-week schedule

Week 1

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, A.1

Week 2

1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, A.2

Week 3

2.1, 2.2, A.3, A.4

Week 4

2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6

Week 5

3.1, 3.2

Week 6

3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7

Week 7

4.1, 4.2

Week 8

4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6

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